Follow Up: More Toynbee Tiles / House of Hades Stuff

Flickr user rtype17 passes along a House of Hades tile he found in LA’s Pershing Square Our post on the history of the Toynbee Tiles and their various homages (House of Hades, that little mummy guy you see in crosswalks everywhere) still gets a good amount of traffic and comment activity so I thought I’d follow up with a few more notes on the subject: + Netflix is streaming Resurrect Dead, the excellent documentary on the search for who is behind the Toynbee Tiles. (Filmmaker’s page) + There’s a Google Map showing the location of Toynbee Tiles around Philadelphia, ground zero for the Toynbee Phenomenon + The perennially badass Becky Stern over at Makesine brings an excellent how-to video on making your own Toynbee-style linoleum tiles. From back in 2009 (yeah, I totally slept on that one) + Oh and in your wanderings, ignore links to toynbee.net. It’s dead an […]

A Futuristic Buddy Cop Staring Whoopi Goldberg and a Dinosaur. WTF?

Someone get a man in as there’s something wrong with time and space. Somehow this thing– this movie– came over from some awful bizarro world alternate universe where Gilbert Godfried is President and KFC sells Wolly Mammoth thigh. That can be the only logical explanation. Yes, someone in 1995 really thought a movie set in the the future where Whoopi Goldberg teams up with a dinosaur named Theodore Rex was a good idea. Theodore Rex Trailer Theodore Rex, Best of the Worst

Play Katamari On Any Webpage

Here’s me, making a dung ball of Wikipedia. Yes friends, the future we’ve been wanting is trickling in. Can’t guild the lily on this one so I’m just going to tell you how to get to the awesome. Using any HTML5-ready browser (I used the latest Safari but I imagine Chrome would work too, maybe Firefox 4) navigate to a page you want to roll up into a giant ball and then open a separate tab and navigate to here for instructions: http://ec2-50-17-2-177.compute-1.amazonaws.com/ When they say Address Bar, they mean the part where you put in the URL. Right mouse clicks guide the ever increasing ball and you need to click a lot. Be warned, though, that eventually the music kicks in.

China’s Moon Shot Rains Rocket Parts on the Countryside

China sent their unmanned lunar probe Chang’e II (nickname: Moon Safari?) skywards last Friday, packing the usual assortment of stereo cameras, laser spectrometers and microwave detectors to scour the lunar surface as it orbits the moon for six months or better.  What it didn’t take with it, however, was a few large chunks of its launch rocket.  These fell to earth two days later, landing in a rural part of Jiangxi, China. Villagers thought they were being struck by an earthquake as the debris crashed down.  Luckily, no one was hurt and no structures were impacted.  While snarkier blogs than this one will no doubt bag on China’s devil-may-care approach to space debris management, I’m just glad no one was hurt.  Besides, there’s not a space program out there (not even Mr. Veer’s), that has its hands completely clean. Remember Skylab?  Australia does. Take a closer look at the above […]

Garfield: Suicide is Painless

And then my brain popped open, revealing a smaller brain that popped open, revealing another and so on, until it was the size of a pencil eraser, a talking pencil eraser, that said “Well then.  I quit.” More of this sort of thing here.  Obviously some sort of cult.

Animals at War

Following up on yesterday’s post about the Taliban’s dastardly plans to pit monkey mettle vs. the infidels, I got thinking about humanity’s tendency to enlist our animal friends in human wars.  While animals were absolutely vital to pre-modern combat–war horses, Hannibal’s elephant, pack mules, homing pigeons–the advent of mechanized warfare has made animal contributions to human conflicts somewhat more rare.  Still, the 20th century and the early 21st have seen their fair share of attempts to ace the enemy in hand-to-paw/flipper/wing combat.  Dig, if you will: The U.S.’s Bat Bombs – In the midst of WWII, someone got the bright idea to try to make a wide ranging cluster bomb out of hibernating bats, an empty bomb canister and small, bat-sized incendiary bombs to burn down Japanese villages.  Yeah.  Never got beyond the testing phase, due to it being a largely Rube Goldberg approach to a tactic that Curtis LeMay […]

Simians and Scimitars: The Taliban’s Alleged Monkey Soldiers

This is what we call Slow News Day Gold.  China’s People’s Daily Online reports: Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents are training monkeys to use weapons to attack American troops, according to a recent report by a British-based media agency. Reporters from the media agency spotted and took photos of a few “monkey soldiers” holding AK-47 rifles and Bren light machine guns in the Waziristan tribal region near the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The report and photos have been widely spread by media agencies and Web sites across the world. According to the report, American military experts call them “monkey terrorists.” What we have here, gentlemen, is a monkey gap.  And I for one won’t stand around waiting for these furballs to start shooting up Des Moines before I do something about it.  I am hereby requesting $25 million from the Defense Department for the training of patriotic anti-simian sloth soldiers.  Oh […]

Thanks, Internet.

And now let’s take time out for some appalling clip art. Thanks Photoxpress!  Now I can ruminate all day on the sort of diseased mind that’s thinking ‘Hmm… somewhere out there there’s a man who needs a computer generated graphic of a broken seven-armed bald woman for his PowerPoint presentation.’

We’re Number One: Pee Your Way to Carbon Neutrality

Remember when I sang the praises of ass-powered electrical generation?  Yeah, well, that’s just the half of the juice you’re flushing away.  Or drinking as part of a bizarre training regimen.  Gerardine Botte of Ohio University has been working on a method of pulling hydrogen out of urine for future fuel cells and Hindenburgs. Tell ’em Chemistry World: Botte says the idea came to her several years ago at a conference on fuel cells, where they were discussing how to turn clean water into clean power. ‘I wondered how we could do this better,’ she adds – so started looking at waste streams as a better source of molecules from which to produce hydrogen. Urine’s major constituent is urea, which incorporates four hydrogen atoms per molecule – importantly, less tightly bonded than the hydrogen atoms in water molecules. Botte used electrolysis to break the molecule apart, developing an inexpensive new nickel-based electrode […]

Eating Dog in Microgravity

What do you want to bet that when astronauts, cosmonauts, taikonauts and the rest get together and shoot the bull, the question comes up: “What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten in space?” Chinese space pilot Yang Liwei has a pretty good trump card for that: the menu on the 2003 Shenzhou Five mission included dog.  Y’know, for stamina. The Telegraph reports: A local proverb in the south of China is that “Huajiang dog is better for you than ginseng”, referring to the medicinal root that plays a vital role in traditional Chinese medicine. He added that the diet had been specially drawn up for the astronauts by Chinese nutritionists and that the food had been purchased from special suppliers in Beijing. Dog is widely eaten in northern China, where it is believed to help battle the winter cold. The menu was still in use last year, when Chinese astronauts conducted […]